Archive for October 2009
The six women that make up the EVE Photographers, Marizilda Cruppe, Agnes Dherbeys, Benedicte Kurzen, Justyna Mielnikiewicz, Lourdes Segade, Newsha Tavakolian are inspiring sources of new work from around the world. While each individual focuses her camera on the vital stories in her region, together the collaboration of their work provides eloquent observations and commentary on profound global topics, such as disease, access to water, and motherhood. By highlighting the different perspectives of each woman in her specific global location, the viewer is able to interpret the world from many angles and glean understanding and compassion.
Over the next week I will highlight each one of the EVE Photographers and her important work. You can also find more information about EVE here and links to each individual’s website. The EVE Photographers website and all of the women’s individual websites are hosted by liveBooks, Inc. Many of the websites are hosted by the liveBooks photojournalism project which offers photojournalist and documentary photographers affordable customized websites as a tool for sharing stories and information with the world.
9th World Wildness Conference features the International League of Conservation Photographers: Wild Speak Symposium
Founded by Cristina Mittermeier in 2003, the iLCP consists of “a group of individuals, each of whom has their own business and projects, yet who at the same time are committed to a common goal and to working collaboratively together with scientists, media, and other conservationists to further conservation throughout the world. The ILCP provides the compelling images that attract attention to the causes for which each of these outside agencies and organizations are fighting.” (From the about page on the iLCP website)
Every year, in conjunction with the World Wilderness Congress and Wild9, the iLCP host, WiLD SPEAK, a symposium of some of the largest names in conservation and photography. The last day to register is Tuesday October 27th. Register here.
The iLCP will also have a gallery exhibition at the FiftyCrows Gallery in January. Check out the website for more details.
The iLCP is convening WiLD SPEAK, a Conservation Communications Symposium, during the upcoming WiLD 9 Congress, in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico from 6-13 of November. WiLD SPEAK will take place in the afternoon sessions from November 9-12.
WiLD SPEAK, celebrating iLCP’s 4th Anniversary, will include plenary sessions and debates to discuss issues relevant to conservation communications, including the role of photojournalism in conservation, the imperative of translating science for general audiences and much more. Many iLCP photographers will sit on these panels and will also be giving presentations on their current projects. Don’t miss this important event, it will be the largest gathering of conservation photographers to date!
Confirmed Speakers (incredible list!):
* iLCP Board Member, Dr. Jane Goodall
* iLCP Fellow, Art Wolfe
* iLCP Fellow, Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols
* iLCP Fellow, Tom Mangelsen
* iLCP Fellow, Brian Skerry
* iLCP Fellow, Christian Ziegler
* iLCP Fellow, Klaus Nigge
* iLCP Fellow, Tim Laman
* iLCP Fellow, Robert Glenn Ketchum
* iLCP Fellow, Igor Shpilenok
* iLCP Fellow, Matthias Breiter
* iLCP Fellow, Christian Ziegler
* iLCP Fellow, Staffan Widstrand
* iLCP Fellow, Kevin Schafer
* iLCP Fellow, Michele Westmorland
* iLCP Fellow, Florian Schulz
* iLCP Fellow, Frans Lanting
* iLCP Fellow, Jack Dykinga
* iLCP Fellow, Jim Balog
* iLCP Fellow, Garth Lenz
* iLCP Associate, Tom Peschak
* iLCP Associate, Ralph Lee Hopkins
“I look people in the eyes. I don’t go in there as a photographer. The experience is more important than the photographs.”
FiftyCrows: What project are you currently working on?
Andre Cypriano: I am deeply involved in the documentation of slums all over the world, or “favelas” as we call it in Brazil. This long-term project is called “Informal Culture.” By now I photographed over 100 favelas, mostly in Rio de Janeiro, Caracas, Buenos Aires, La Paz and Lima. Soon I hope to be able to document the townships of Africa, India and Mexico. Slum remains vastly misunderstood and under-studied. Still too little is known about the origins, demographics, physical and social structures, traditions, cultural production, internal economies, politics, modes of everyday life, and multiple identities of the place that over 1 billion people call home.
FC: How did you become involved/interested in your current work?
AC: My unusual passport into the “no-go zones” of Rio’s favelas originated in the series, The Devil’s Caldron, documenting the notorious island penitentiary Cândido Mendes. I gained the trust of an inmate, Paulinho, one of the leaders of the infamous criminal organization Comando Vermelho – the CV. Paulinho invited me to photograph the place where he grew up, Rocinha, Rio’s meta-favela, with 250,000 inhabitants. The idea was to show that vibrancy and happiness also exists in the favela. That initial adventure led me to other favelas, in Rio and beyond. They are all different. The more I see, the more I want to see.
FC: Can you talk about the project that you focused on for the IFDP grant?
AC: The ROCINHA portfolio was the one born because of IFDP. This community is a place with extreme emotions. It is a Brazil that you will never find in the Copacabana or Ipanema Beach. The slum spreads from the top to the bottom of a mountain. Ironically, it is surrounded by wealth. Living in tightly-packed claustrophobic, collapsing brick and wood shacks, these people have made a choice. They have decided to survive, using whatever resources are available to them.
Because the residents of this neighborhoods, or developing city really, have been neglected by the government, they have set up their own survival system, one ruled by the C.V. drug-traffickers. What makes it so captivating is how clearly this criminal system both terrorizes and supports the people of the “favela”. This is vividly illustrated by the nefarious role of the police who, on a daily basis, violently extort huge sums of money from these members.
Rocinha reputation is so bad that it is very difficult to convince teachers to work in the community. This is partly due to the pervasive culture of violence and apathy in which community behavior repels even such basic assistance. The resultant violence is so extreme that these days, when a shoot-out erupts between C.V., the police or different criminal factions, children continue to play, refusing shelter, inured by the frequency of such activities. Despite all this, nothing is being done to change life in the favelas. As a result, the violence has grown to a point where it is defining Rio de Janeiro globally.
FC: What was the significance of winning the IFDP in your career?
AC: It was my first major award. And besides the great finance support at the time, it was very important for my self-esteem. Because of the IFDP’s world recognition many doors have been opened. Still today, 10 years later, I continue to gain benefits from the award.
FC: Can you give a piece of advice to others doing important work with social change photography?
AC: Don’t leave your portfolio(s) hidden inside the drawers. And never believe that just because you didn’t win one competition, it means that your work is not important or good. I did apply for the IFDP 4 times before I won. It is very important to understand that, maybe because of personal reasons, whoever is judging can be attracted to a different work than yours. Maybe it is just not the right time for that subjected at that institution. Or maybe your photo style was not interesting to just that group of judges. Keep trying. Keep on a strait body of work, with a solid style, clean and good quality presentation.
FC: Please comment on your connection to your subject matter and the importance of working in your own country/region?
AC: I look people in the eyes. I don’t go in there as a photographer. When I’m inside, I eat with the locals, I play sports with them, and I participate. That is very important for me. The experience is more important than the photographs. I love Rocinha and lived there for 30 days. My work happens to help to make changes, but it is not really my intention. The social change comes as it is supposed to come.
After living in the USA for over 20 years, I feel like an outsider in Brazil. That helps to see things that Brazilians are not seen on their daily lives, things that is right there, in front of every one. Things that only happens in Brazil. As a Brazilian and American citizen, living in both countries, I am able to express my feelings to the subject in a global and natural way. Many Brazilians think that my Rio’s Favela portfolio, as another example, is an apology to the C.V. criminal organization, but instead, it is history that I am documenting, like the Italian mafia of NY.
Brazilian photographer, Andre Cypriano prefers to photograph the unique and unusual aspects of distinct cultural enclaves. Within his own country he has made a point of looking at the livelihood of the largest favela (slum) in Rio de Janeiro and the brutal prison, Candido Mendes. It was his work photographing the people of the drug-run favela called Rocinha- An Orphan Town that won him the IFDP in 1999.
Cypriano won the National Geographic “All Roads” photography award in 2005, the New Works award from En Foco N.Y. in 2002, and the World Image Award from PDN in 1992. He has also participated in the Bolsa Vitae de Artes in Sao Paulo and the Caracas Think Tank. Cypriano has published several books of his work, conducted educational workshops and exhibited in Brazil, Europe and the US.
Now located in New York City, Cypriano works as a freelance photographer doing both social documentaries and editorial/fashion photography.